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For over a decade, David Tian, Ph.D. — a uniquely qualified therapist, life coach, and former university professor — has coached tens of thousands of people from over 87 countries to achieve happiness and success in their relationships, dating, psychology, and lifestyle.

Dr. Tian has been featured in international media, as well as co-hosting a radio show on national radio and a weekly dating advice column in a national newspaper in Singapore.

The show, “Man Up: Masculinity for the Intelligent Man” (, is David’s way of helping as many people as possible enjoy empowering and fulfilling lives, while contributing to the global understanding of masculinity in modern times. In the show, he takes your questions posed in the Man Up private Facebook group ( and answers based on his experience coaching tens of thousands of students around the world for over a decade.

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“The Man Up Show” Ep.116 – What To Do If She Doesn’t Meet Your Standards

Meet Your Standards

  • David Tian Ph.D. explains why a man isn’t turned off by the woman despite not meeting his standards.

  • David Tian Ph.D. discusses what this situation reveals about the standards you have set.

  • In this Man Up episode, David Tian Ph.D. tells us why we need to go and live through the values that we want.

David Tian: Boom! Stop. In Episode 116 of Man Up, I answer the question of: What do you do if she doesn’t meet your standards?


Masculinity for the intelligent man. I’m David Tian, Ph.D. and this is Man Up!

Hey! I’m David Tian, Ph. D, and for the past ten years, I’ve been helping tens of thousands of people in over 87 countries attain success in life and love, and welcome to Man Up, Episode 116. Here I am in beautiful Bali, Ubud in our villa here. Nice pool and there’s a really cool pond in the back, which I showed you guys I think two episodes ago or something. So, I’m shooting this here outside the villa, hopefully it’s a nice view behind me for you to look at. Beautiful day, beautiful weather so far, and got a question here from the private Facebook group. This one coming from Kawelwa, I hope I’m pronouncing that correctly, Kawelwa.

And he asks, “Dr. David Tien, I met this girl a couple months ago. We clicked and hung out a couple of times. We don’t really have a lot in common but I found her attractive and a mutual friend told me she liked me. Problem was, she had a boyfriend at the time so I let it go because I didn’t want to put her in awkward situation. It recently came to my attention that she is now single. I still like her, but we have nothing in common. I have an idea of what type of girl I want and she is not it. My question is, how can you tell if the standards you set for yourself are genuine and not just excuses to avoid taking a leap and risking rejection and other fears that we should conquer?”

In the comments, he further clarified, “I do not know a lot about her, but from a few conversations, I can tell we have very dissimilar interests and different opinions on a lot of things. I still like her and would like to try it out, but she doesn’t meet the standard I set for myself. If I compromise, I lose the standards, and if I don’t pursue her she joins a long list of girls I let go.” So the original question is, “How can you tell if the standards you set for yourself are genuine and not just excuses to avoid taking a leap, risking rejections or facing your fears?”

Okay, cool. This is a good question. It seems like based on the comments, a lot of guys have this question. Also based on the comments, I can tell that the other guys are struggling with this question as well. Great, let’s get to it. I think a lot of guys… So, I always like to get the context, like how old you are and where your cultural context is, but I didn’t get that information before pressing play here. But I guess a lot of guys, regardless of age, fall into this category. I think the only reason you would be wondering this is because you’ve maybe read some of my articles or articles that are along similar lines as what I’m proposing, what I teach, or watch the videos where I teach it.

Because I’ve been using the word ‘values’ quite a bit. And you might be thinking, “Okay, I have to establish these values, but then there’s this girl and she’s physically attractive. She’s got the right energy for me but she doesn’t meet the non-physical standards that I’ve determined through these values, articles and things like that, and then what should I do?” Here’s the truth, if she really doesn’t meet your standards, you should be repulsed emotionally and shouldn’t even be attracted. Like, when she starts opening her mouth, it should be a big turn-on.

For instance, an easier example would be… Let’s say you don’t like racist people. So, this is usually easier to appeal to people’s disgust mechanisms or socialized mechanisms here. I’m trying to figure out what your race is by your photo. I’m assuming by your name, you’re African of some kind. The Wi-Fi is really bad out here, and it’s not pulling it up. Okay, I can’t really see. I just get it a little thumbnail and there were two guys in the… Oh yeah, right. It looks like you’re black, cool.

If I were to talk to someone and they were to say racist things about black people, like Uncle Tom, those kind of shit. And if I were to hear that, I would be immediately turned off. I don’t care how hot she is. I’d just be looking at her like, “What kind of evil human being are you?” And then I would just excuse myself and get the hell out, you know, have a nice day. Sometimes, if it’s my place and I think to do so, and I think I could have some effect… That is, I might be actually able to affect the way people think there in that moment, I might even speak up and try to convert people to my point of view. But usually, I wouldn’t bother because it’s very difficult to argue people into your point of view.

This is like right in the middle of nature. I’ve got bugs landing on me and everything. So, I would just excuse myself and get out of there, and I would be emotionally turned off, I would be really turned off by that. Just emotionally, I couldn’t even go through with it. If I knew that a girl I was about to hook up with was an axe murderer, or even now to this day, if I find out a girl has lied to her boyfriend or cheated on the guy in order to see me, that’s a big turn off for me. There’s no doubt in my mind. I’m not struggling like, “Oh, should I hook up with her? Oh, should I not?”

I’m just turned off. It’s like, as if she just vomited all over me. As if she just did the most disgusting thing, or I found out she’s like a vampire or something. I don’t know, whatever. That might be a turn off for a lot of people. But I hope you get my point. That is, if it’s a true standard, if this really matters to you, it would’ve turned you off. But the problem is, you’re turned on. So, your standards that you espouse through your mouth are fake at the moment. And a lot of people, this is what I’ve been saying earlier about, “Don’t be 50 until you’re 50. Don’t try to be more mature than you are, because you’re actually going to hurt yourself.”

This is why in all of our coaching programs, we have beginner, intermediate and advanced. Because if a beginner guy tries to take on even not just advanced techniques but advanced mindsets, it’s actually going to hamper his progress because he’s not going to where he is. That would be like an obese guy doing advanced workouts. He could get injured and then he’d have to stop working out completely, and that would set him back months. So, you got to go to where you’re at.

So, if that means that you got to curl five pound dumbbells because that’s how weak you are, you got to curl five pound dumbbells. Don’t be like grabbing the 20-pounders and swinging them around. You’re going to injure yourself, plus you’re not building any muscle. And you’re tricking yourself into thinking you’re more advanced than you are, and you’re not going to actually progress.

Here’s a personal example. When I was in school, I was such an achiever in my grade school years. And achievers come out of being pleasers, and this is something I’m going to be working into in a book. So, a lot of us, the guys who are watching this video, it’s Man Up: Masculinity for the Intelligent Man. A lot of guys who self-identify as intelligent are achievers, and they became achievers because they found that the only surefire way to get approval from their parents or from those they love and look up to is by achieving; by getting good grades, by doing the right thing.

Basically, it’s another way of pleasing the parent, pleasing the authority figure. So, what this does is creates a need to please but then it creates a need not to fail. You don’t want to fail because then you won’t get the love, or the validation or the approval that you’re seeking. So, this creates a dynamic where a little kid like… When I was a little kid, I would plagiarize. When you’re drawing, I would trace over stuff instead of free hand drawing like I was supposed to, just because I wanted to please the authority figures. And this was bad. Obviously, in the long run, if you just plagiarize a lot of stuff, and even if they let you get away with it, you’re not learning anything, you’re not growing, you’re not progressing.

So, it’s better to actually submit a B-level, C-level piece of work, and then get the feedback and then work hard at it, than it is to fake like you’re an A student and submit a plagiarized or a copied a piece of work, because then you’re not actually learning and you’re not going to grow. And then, you’re actually not going to get the support network because your teachers are going to think you’re fine, because you duped them. But that’s not going to help you in the long run. Luckily, I caught this earlyish on in my life and learned that, but I wasted a lot of time basically just faking as an A student when I wasn’t really an A student. You know, it catches up to you because then you do that for two/three years.

By the time a teacher does call you out on it, you’ve now deprived yourself of two or three years of real learning and real education because you’ve been faking it. So, same thing goes with your standards. Don’t fake it. Don’t fake it till you get there. So, if you don’t feel repulsed by a woman, a girl, who doesn’t meet your ‘standards’, then yes, they’re fake standards. If you have to actually self-impose your standards and values on yourself, then they’re fake. Now, you’re dealing with the case that you find out you’re superficial or that you don’t really stand for anything, and that’s normal because most human beings in 2016 are sheltered.

They haven’t lived, they haven’t grown, they find out they’re superficial, materialistic human beings. Yes, that’s right. And the only way out of that is by living, by actually testing yourself in the real world, but most people suck at life. So, don’t be surprised if you too suck at life. I mean, in other words, you think you stand for something but it turns out you don’t; it’s not really that important to you, you’re just faking it, then go and hook up with lots of different types of people if that’s what you’re interesting in doing, because your emotions call you to do it. Don’t fake it. That’s insincere, it’s inauthentic. You will not grow, you will not mature.

Instead, date this girl that is different from you and let her challenge your opinions, and maybe she will change some of your opinions and that’s awesome. Maybe she will give you some new perspectives and force you to open your fucking mind, to see things in different ways, because in reality you really didn’t care that much about your own views, probably because you really haven’t defended your own views or positions very strongly. You wouldn’t die for them, for instance. So, they’re not that important, they don’t fucking matter to you.

So, open your fucking mind, everyone. Everyone who thinks that they have values, you don’t probably have any values except self, self, self, self, self, self-centered, self-interest, self-accumulation, aggrandizement for the self. I assume that most people will stand for themselves and get shit for themselves. That’s really, they only care about themselves, and that’s probably the only value that everyone shares. Beyond that, you’ve got to earn those values. They’re like stripes, you got to go through life, you go to go through some hardship and some pain, and you got to open your mind and experience life. Experience new types of people, trying out lots of different things. You’ll find out a lot of your preconceptions are bullshit.

A lot of dudes, here’s one of the most common things that I hear beginner dudes, who’ve had very little dating experience, one of the best ways to find out who they are, is whether they profess to have very strong views against people who smoke and against people who drink; basically espousing conservative values. Most of those people have not lived, closed-minded people. And the worst is, they don’t even really care about those things. They’re just hiding in their own comfort zone of safety and bullshit, to protect them from actually encountering the real world.

And then, they’re physically attracted to a girl who’s totally the opposite. She’s got tattoos, she smokes, she dances real sexy and he’s like, “Oh, she goes against my values. I see no long-term potential in her. But oh, she is sexy.” And he’s like, “Oh, am I supposed to stick with my values and not pursue her?” You know, it’s bullshit. It’s a fucking lie. No, he’s turned on by her. Go get it, because you suck. Because the reason is, you really don’t have those values. Those are values that you espouse from your own comfort zone because they make you feel secure and safe. It’s just a pussy way to live.

If, however, you really do have strong philosophical arguments, strong logical arguments, strong rational arguments to defend why people should not smoke in your presence, and it’s so visceral that it pisses you off when you see it, and you want to go and preach to them to stop smoking, then okay; you really don’t want to date a girl who smokes. That makes a lot of sense, and power to you. But a lot of guys are just fucking hypocrites, man. I’ve been doing this for over ten years, coaching guys who have bullshit values.

They come into my office with bullshit values. So, I’m used to it. I didn’t even bother challenging it because I, too, realized I cannot argue somebody into a view. This is coming from an emotional place that they’re at. They’re emotionally tied, invested in those conservative views even though they’re not rational or logical for them. Because they can’t rationally defend them. So, if you’re in that position, if you say that you have certain values and standards, but then when you meet a woman who doesn’t meet those standards but you’re still turned on, the only way forward if you want to grow is to try it out and see what your real values are.

You got to go and live through those values. You got to earn those values. They have to be there emotionally in your affections. Okay, cool. Went on long enough for that. And here I am, beautiful Bali. Join the private Facebook group where you can ask your questions. Sometimes, I will answer them right in the comments and get immediate answers. So in the meantime, I’m hitting the beach… Well, not in Ubud, we’re driving down the beach later.

Alright, so join the private Facebook group. I’m getting enamoured by this view. Join the private Facebook group. I’ll see you in there. Until next time, Man Up![MUSIC]